Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 15:39:14 -0500
Reply-To: Georjean Adams <gla**At_Symbol_Here**EHSSTRATEGIES.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Georjean Adams <gla**At_Symbol_Here**EHSSTRATEGIES.COM>
Subject: Re: Environmental sustainability in labs?
Comments: To: "Harry J. Elston"
Comments: cc: Martin Abraham ,
charles.liotta**At_Symbol_Here**, darls**At_Symbol_Here**,
david.carter**At_Symbol_Here**, hcramsey**At_Symbol_Here**, kathryn_parker**At_Symbol_Here**,
In-Reply-To: <4362136.1251487620396.JavaMail.root**At_Symbol_Here**>
Good question!

We on the Committee for Environmental Improvement (CEI) are trying to figure out what we need to do to come up with a good operational definition for ACS that can work across divisions.

For now, I can point you to the ACS position statement on sustainability.

My spin: Doing whatever ACS members do in sustainable ways means thinking holistically about environmental, health and safety impacts as well as social and economic impacts for everybody (including ecosystems) involved or who could be impacted by our actions (unintended life cycle impacts).   I believe the key is life cycle/systems thinking.

The current buzz is around energy/climate change, water use, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, green chemistry.  Labs specifically can do lots of things to avoid waste in materials and energy used and materials released/disposed.  But as the flurry of accidents show, we need to be smarter all around about what and how we do things in labs.  Blowing up labs and killing lab workers isn't sustainable.  I'm going to try to make sure safety isn't forgotten in what is usually an environmentally focused term.

I think there is a wide range of lab sustainability topics for DCHAS dealing with both the physical plant and researcher practices.

As the lead on the subcommittee for communication and outreach in CEI, I'd appreciate suggestions on what kinds of useful guidance you need from us.
Georjean Adams

At 3:27 PM -0400 8/28/09, Harry J. Elston wrote:
This might turn out to be an interesting discussion, but can someone please CONCISELY DEFINE what sustainability really means?  It's a nice word and all, but I think we're on the brink of "feel-good" EH&S.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
>Sent: Aug 28, 2009 8:14 AM
>To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
>Subject: [DCHAS-L] Environmental sustainability in labs?
>I am helping to organize two conference presentations on 
>sustainability in laboratories, a local one at UVM in October, the 
>other at the ACS national meeting next spring. I have some ideas about 
>what to include in the discussion, but would appreciate any ideas, or 
>even better, web links to specific lab sustainability programs and 
>projects that you're aware of. I was able to attend the Labs-21 
>conference last September, so I'm familiar with that resource, but I'm 
>sure there are others out there that will be of interest.
>Thanks for any help with this.
>- Ralph
>Ralph Stuart, CIH
>Environmental Safety Manager
>University of Vermont
>Environmental Safety Facility
>667 Spear St. Burlington, VT  05405

Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH
Midwest Chemical Safety, LLC

Editor, Journal of Chemical Health & Safety

Nationalized health care:  All the efficiency of FEMA with all
the compassion of the IRS

EHS Strategies, Inc.
- enabling organizations to meet their EHS vision

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.